A few posts ago, I wrote about dreaming. It is a healthy thing to do … thinking about what the future could look like. It’s also a slippery slope … it becomes dangerous when your dreams begin to turn into standards. When you begin use your dreams as a pathway to control and plan the future.
I’ve always been a thinker & a planner-outer. I like to know what I”m doing each night – where I’m going to be. I tend to plan out things. (Works well in the office, but drives my family nuts!) In high school, I had a serious boyfriend – we dated for almost 6 years. During my sophomore year, we were “on a break.” I had heard that he wasn’t going to go to his homecoming dance because we were broken up … I agreed/offered (whatever you want to call 15-year-olds trying to figure out the dating world) to go with him as friends. I had little to no expectations of the evening. It ended up being the most amazing night! We danced, laughed and just enjoyed each other. That night I learned (and I”m still learning) that you can’t dream out every second of your life. You’ve got to let go and just experience the moment. When you spend all of your time dreaming about what each day might hold, you place unrealistic expectations on yourself and others.
So, how do you keep your dreams from becoming expectations? I’ll be honest … I”m really not sure. I do know that it helps not to think about something too much. When you start to think about a “what-if” more than what is actually happening … it might not be balanced. I spend so much time dreaming about what it would be like to have a man in the house, that I am missing the experience of being independent. Mystery. I am too big of a control freak to just let the mystery happen. God says, “Close your eyes and just experience the ride, trusting in Me as life whips around each corner.” I’m so busy trying to see the tracks, that I forget I’m not the one steering the car. Each time I try to plan out what is ahead, I ruin the surprise.
The ironic part? I love surprises! Want to show me how much you love me? Plan a little surprise. That’s how Doug caught my eye when we were dating off and on. He went to great lengths to surprise me on my birthday. He baked his first ever cake (chocolate cake with chocolate frosting). Then, he had the receptionist call my desk to let me know there was a package I needed to sign for at the front desk. As I rounded the last flight of stairs, there he was, standing with his 9×13 chocolate cake. I knew that birthdays weren’t big to him, but he knew they were big to me. We found a table in the cafeteria and shared a piece of cake and a little time together. It was simple – doesn’t take very much – but it was a surprise. Magic.
The cake was magic because I didn’t expect it. When I start to dream about every moment, it ruins the magic. It eliminates the possibility of being swept off of my feet. Ha! And that’s what I dream about most of the time … being swept off of my feet. How is someone going to surprise me if I”m busy thinking of all the romantic ways someone could enter my life?
Turn off your brain Mel … stop thinking! Just focus on what is in front of you. Put on your cement boots and stay grounded. Stop focusing on what you could have and love what you do have.
Dreaming is good – it keeps fresh air in the room. When life gets tough, it keeps you focused on tomorrow. Dream on friends … the sky is the limit! If you’re like me … just be careful and don’t let your dreams become expectations. Turn off those over thinking brains and let yourself be surprised. I can type out the words, but it’s a lot hard to do than type. Maybe we can work turning our brains off together?